Customer Experience

The Basics of Customer Experience Management

In this post:

Customer experience (CX) is an art of perception, getting to grips with the thoughts and feelings of customers as they do business with you. Management, alternatively, is a process of action.

Combining these two definitions, we can summarize that customer experience management involves taking deliberate actions to improve customer perceptions of their experiences.

Also referred to as CXM or CEM, customer experience management is gradually creeping into more and more companies. Specialized CX teams are no longer a rarity as belief grows in the benefits they bring to businesses.

customer journey

The benefits of CX management

Customer experience management drives better business results. Of course, there may be “sub-benefits” – such as improving customer loyalty, retention, and value – yet these all lead in one direction; financial gain.

Some will argue the moral case of providing better experiences. They will often refer to customers as the “forgotten stakeholder”, in a plea for greater attention to customer needs.

However, to achieve executive buy-in, CXM must show promise of delivering financial results. Such is the way that the world works.

Fortunately, the evidence suggests incredible money-making potential in CXM. 2018 Forrester research even found that experience-driven businesses achieve up to 1.9x higher year-on-year (YoY) growth than other companies.

Yet, ultimately, to convince stakeholders of the value of CXM, business leaders must provide quick results that demonstrate its potential financial benefit.

Where to start with CX management?

To instill confidence in CXM, first focus on the low-hanging fruit. With support, then tackle the more complex issues, which are critical to CX transformation.

Naturally, this is easier said than done. Discovering areas to make successful interventions is a daunting prospect. However, customer journey maps help break down the CX labyrinth and allow CX teams to zoom-into customer lifecycles and touchpoints.

With a framework, CX teams may begin to analyze mission-critical journeys and plan actions at the most impactful points of the overall experience. 

Isolating critical touchpoints and planning actions, however, requires a range of sub-disciplines.

As Daniel Ord, a CX specialist at OmniTouch International tells us: “CX isn’t just doing one thing. If it were that easy, then everyone would be doing it.”

service personalization

The sub-disciplines of CX management

Human-centered design, culture building, strategy setting and alignment, metrics, and Voice of the Customer (VoC) are great examples of CX sub-disciplines. 

These disciplines add context to customer journeys and enable CX teams to make positive interventions, according to Ord.

“You honor a discipline when you have the big picture – and when you also lean into the ‘sub-disciplines’ that bring it to life,” he says.

Unfortunately, becoming an expert in each area takes time, and particular disciplines are frequently overlooked – often to the detriment of CX.

A great example of this is VoC research. Sometimes CX managers get defensive and ignore the feedback. Other times they have their own preconceived narratives of what is wrong and focus only on these. Either way, improvement interventions are then misplaced. 

Instead, CX teams must stay open to new ideas, challenge this mindset, and think from the customer’s viewpoint. Question why, where, and how you gather feedback to attain more actionable insights.

Become a CX diplomat

Keeping an open mind is a critical skill in CXM, as is diplomacy. Great CX managers are often mediators. They understand the need to build cross-functional relationships between departments. Such relationships are critical to effecting profound change.

To kickstart these relationships, increase connectivity across the enterprise. Cloud reporting tools help by taking siloed data – stored within different departments – and sharing it across the company. Doing so will enable a unified view of CX. 

Providing such a view will increase CX intelligence within the business. The management team may then kickstart CX improvement conversations, with everyone clear on the critical CX measures and goals.  

However, stuck in their ways, department leaders are often resistant to change. Stepping forward, a CX diplomat can ease concerns and encourage collaboration for the good of CX.  

A failure demand project is an excellent example of how such collaboration can bear fruit. Using customer feedback, call recordings, and possibly speech analytics, join forces with the contact center to analyze demand caused by upstream issues.

By collaborating with the relevant departments, CX teams can remove frictions and simplify customer journeys.

omnichannel engagement

Side-step the mistakes of CX management

Underestimating the value of cross-functional department relationships is a classic CXM mistake. Yet, it is not the only misjudgment that new CX managers make.

So, before drawing up journey maps, strategies and initiatives, be sure to avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Confusing CX with customer service – CX follows the entire customer journey. Service focuses only on conversations between customers and support teams. Customer service is, therefore, simply a facet of CX.
  • Fixating on external benchmarks – It is only natural to feel a little competitive with rival brands. However, chasing CX metric scores of different companies is a dangerous game. For starters, it is almost impossible to know how they measure the metric. It is also easy to lose track of what is really important; improving CX.
  • Failing to test new experiences – CX interventions may not always have the desired effect. Sometimes, they drive dissatisfaction further. To avoid this, test new ideas carefully. Learn from these tests, improve and then make positive customer journey interventions. Of course, the temptation to act quickly is staunch. Yet, this may lead to failures that damage your reputation. 

Stumbling into this last trap is easy. CX teams often become desperate to keep pace with new customer expectations. In terms of digital transformation, this is especially the case.

Yet, instead of rushing CX interventions, implement no-code tools to speed up the manual, monotonous processes. Management may then focus on continuously building better customer experiences.    

Building better customer experiences

Are you ready to start redesigning digital customer journeys and take customer experience management to the next level? If so, babelforce is here to help.

With our solution, no engineering resource is necessary. CX teams have the ultimate control over how the customer experience looks and feels.

Thanks to this no-code approach, digital transformation has never been so simple.

To discover more about our simple, intuitive tools, visit our product page.

Also, stay up to date with all of our latest blog posts, eBooks and announcements by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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